What to expect for health benefits in 2020

This BENEFITS CANADA article, written by Mike Sullivan (a friend/associate/pharmacist/pharmacy consultant), really puts the numbers to paper.  it identifies some of the challenges we are seeing in high cost drugs that are already here, and others coming to market.

Looking ahead to 2020, the big story for health benefits is often avoided because it isn’t easy to address. It’s the elephant in the room.


Mat leave returners no longer facing reset of LTD pre-existing clause

I’m so pleased to finally get this initiative resolved after almost 3 years of effort.

If you’re reading this, and a Mainstay client, then you know how adamant I am about NOT allowing women to opt-out of coverage during maternity leave. If you’re not a client, or are not sure why this is so important, just give me a call.

Major Canadian insurers are no longer resetting the long-term disability pre-existing condition clause for women whose benefits coverage lapsed during their maternity leave when they return to work.


How to avoid a massive holiday health care bill when OHIP out-of-country coverage ends

We’ve had several calls by clients about the OHIP removal of out of country coverage and if it posed a problem.  In actuality, the cut has made it easier to have claims paid with the group coverage by almost every carrier (no waiting for the province to pay first).  This article provides some context around it and also great questions to ask if people are not covered by group plans and plan on buying coverage.

If you are an Ontario resident planning to travel outside of Canada over the holidays and will be out of the country after Jan. 1, make sure you have adequate travel health insurance coverage or risk dealing with a crippling medical bill should a medical emergency arise.

READ MORE https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/how-to-avoid-a-massive-holiday-health-care-bill-when-ohip-out-of-country-coverage-ends-1.4721528

Elimination of B.C. medical services plan premiums good news for employers

Many of our clients that employee BC employees have paid for the BC MSP premium (much as we did in Ontario with OHIP premiums many decades ago).  This obligation has now been removed.  On the other hand, an employer health tax similar to Ontario was introduced last year so employers are not 100% off the hook, but are avoiding the duplication.

British Columbians are ringing in the new year by joining all Canadians in not paying monthly rates for health care.

Premiums under the province’s medical services plan will be eliminated on Jan. 1, saving individuals up to $900 a year while families will pocket up to $1,800. The change comes two years after premiums were halved and a year after B.C. introduced an employer health tax of 1.95 per cent for businesses with a payroll above $1.5 million. Companies with a payroll under $500,000 were exempt from the tax, while those in between have paid a reduced rate.


Ontario to Increase Claims Limit for Small Claims Court

You’re likely asking yourself…has Dave lost it?  What does Small Claims Court have to do with benefits, or  how does this help the great clients he works with?  It’s all about protecting you.

We are starting to see employees use Small Claims Courts for resolving reasonable notice periods at termination (suing for the severance they think they deserve).  Read the article below for more…

Effective January 1, 2020, the monetary claims limit for Small Claims Court in Ontario will increase from $25,000.00 to $35,000.00 (excluding interest and legal costs). Of note, the previous limit has been in place since 2010 when the limit was increased from $10,000.00.


My Accountant Says I Should Have Registered With WSIB TEN Years Ago! Now What Do I Do?

From time to time we have prospective, or existing clients ask us about WSIB coverage and if it is mandatory.  In some cases they have never “signed up”, in others the activities of the business have changed.

This article explains a bit about how WSIB registration works, and why you should do so voluntarily (if required), rather than be found in violation and subject to fines, penalties and back premium.

A surprisingly common event in the practice of workers’ compensation law is the frantic, sometimes even panicked email or phone call from a client, potential client, or the lawyer or accountant of such a business. The pattern is generally the same.

“We have been in business for X years. Nobody ever told us before that we had to register for workers’ compensation, but now so and so is telling me that we have a big problem because we didn’t. If this is compulsory, why doesn’t somebody tell you that at the beginning?”


Interested in an HR conference?

Littler is one of the worlds largest employment law firms and they do an annual HR conference on issues around…you guessed it, employment law.

If you are an HR professional and want a great place to learn more sign up now.  The event sells out fast (and is free!) so book a spot quickly if interested.  Register HERE

2019 Canada Conference – November 21, 2019 – Toronto

The premier labour and employment law conference returns to Toronto for its fourth annual single-day event.

As part of Littler’s 2019 International Conference series and through this year’s theme – Fueled by Ingenuity, Inspired by You: Your Challenges, Our Solutions – we’ll help you navigate the continually shifting employment and labour law terrain.

Together, we’ll explore how to minimize organizational risk, develop strategic solutions to enhance compliance, and implement practical measures that will benefit and sustain your workplace. Challenges will be tackled with ingenuity and we will suggest innovative groundbreaking solutions that your business needs to succeed.

Speakers from multiple jurisdictions will cover:

  • The 2019 Employment Law Update
  • Life Cycle Issues in the Workplace: How to Attract and Retain Employees with Family Friendly Benefits, Programs and Policies
  • Trending Employment Law Issues for Canada’s Leading Corporations
  • Key Issues in Employment Agreements from a Canadian and American Perspective: Practical Pointers, Strategies and Tips

New to this year’s agenda will be the addition of Littler Talks, stories of achievement and success through life’s challenges and how the journey shaped the professional and personal lives of lawyers in our firm.

The conference will feature keynote speaker Frank Iacobucci, retired Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada (1991 – 2004). Justice Iacobucci will provide a retrospective on seminal employment law decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada and analyze emerging employment law issues.

For more information about this year’s conference, please refer to the agenda.

This conference has been specifically designed for those within the legal, human resources and employee relations professions.

Date: November 21, 2019
Location: The St. Regis Toronto — Toronto, Ontario
Registration: 8:30 a.m. — 9:00 a.m.
Conference: 9:00 a.m. — 4:00 p.m.
Professional Development: CLE, HRPA, HRCI and SHRM credit is pending.
This program contains:
– 3 hours and 45 minutes of Substantive Content
– 1 hour of Professionalism Content
– 30 minutes of EDI Professionalism Content
Event Information: Conference is complimentary and includes: meals, valet parking and program materials.

Register HERE

Health and Safety for small Ontario businesses

I came across this page of resources intended for small businesses and thought it may be of interest.  If you want to know your responsibilities as a small business employer read on…

Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), small business employers have many of the same duties as any other employer, including the following:

  • to do everything they reasonably can to protect their workers in each situation
  • to inform, instruct and supervise workers to protect their health and safety
  • to make sure that every worker and supervisor takes the required training, including basic occupational health and safety awareness training, and keep records of that training


2020 Employee Benefits Forecast

Although many clients have seen better than average rate increases in the past year (many with no change or even small reductions), the coming year looks be just the opposite.  I have put together a document that indicates what will likely happen in the coming year.  If you are receiving pressure from employees to enhance benefits, this may be a good page to share with them to show what lies ahead, and how your benefit costs may be increasing at a faster than normal rate.  it is also a good reminder for them to watch for and avoid fraud schemes

Each clients plan design, staff age, and turnover, as well as individual claims will be what sets your actual rates in the coming year.  The areas we’ve identified are just a few factors affecting rate increases that are beyond the control of you, the insurers, your employees(and except for fraud) or ourselves.

Employer Update 2020

Interested in the 2020 WSIB changes? – FREE Seminar

I have had Liz Scott from Organizational Solutions speak at several of my broker education events.  She is interesting and has as varied an education as she does experience.  Now you can hear her direct to learn more about the WSIB changes affecting your firm.

Experts in Workers’ Compensation Claims Management will be sharing what the changes mean for employers and answering any questions on the big changes coming soon.

If your firm is required to carry (mandatory) WSIB coverage, then you’ll want to know more (and connect to a valuable resource).

Your Invitation to an Exclusive Seminar for HR and Business Leaders     OCTOBER 29, 2019  BRAMPTON, ONTARIO

The WSIB is making one of the biggest changes ever to its rate system. The Board has shared a lot of information on the changes, but how the new system will directly affect employers is still a mystery to most.

Organizational Solutions Inc. is a 100% Canadian owned and operated Company with over 16 years of core business experience in workers’ compensation claims management. Managing occupational claims for hundreds of employers in Ontario means we have been closely monitoring all information to directly determine how these changes will affect our clients. Our Specialists are working and learning what they can to ensure the new system works in their favour.

What we know so far is information we feel will be of enormous interest to any employer with a workforce in Ontario covered by the WSIB.